BAE Systems gives GB Taekwondo team an Olympic fighting edge

Posted on 10 Aug 2012

Technology used inside scoring vests worn by Taekwondo contestants has been explained to the GB Taekwondo team to give them a tactical advantage in the Olympics.

BAE Systems engineers from the Advanced Technology Centre in Bristol have been helping the GB Taekwondo team to evaluate the electronic scoring vest and socks in order to optimise their tactical capabilities.

The socks, introduced to official and international Taekwondo tournaments several years ago deliver a coded signal when they strike sensors on the opponent’s vest.

BAE Systems has spent over six months testing the electronic scoring vest with GB Taekwondo team, using sophisticated equipment which is usually used to test composite materials’ resistance to impact on military orientated projects.

Kelvin Davies, BAE Systems project leader of the UK Sport Technology Partnership said: “We found that different parts of the vest behaved in different ways. The differences are small, but they are there.”

“As a result, we have been working with the GB Taekwondo team to validate the results, as the controlled test conditions we create in the laboratory need to be qualified in real world situations.”

Gary Hall, GB Taekwondo performance director commented: “The new technology is all about electronics and engineering and from the outset we didn’t really understand how it worked and how tactics should be optimised.”

“We have [now] adjusted our tactics to reflect the different forces that are needed to score on certain parts of the vest,” Mr Hall added. It certainly looks to have worked very well in training and we look forward to putting what we have learned into practice.”

The project is part of a £1.5m Technology Partnership with UK Sport, in which BAE Systems’ engineering and technology expertise is shared with British teams across all sports.